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The All Blacks face Jones’ England in next week’s World Cup semifinal.
OPINION: Despite Ireland having beaten New Zealand twice in their previous three fixtures, not many Kiwis truly believed that they would repeat the dose in their quarterfinal encounter. But none would have anticipated the one-sided contest that followed. It was a rugby masterclass.
The All Blacks created and maintained momentum by varying the point and mode of their attack, recycling ball at such speed that Ireland were never allowed time to set their defensive line. Aaron Smith was the major benefactor of the improved body positions and rewarded the team with a top-shelf game. He and the dual igniters Mo’unga and Barrett displayed remarkable awareness in their decision-making.
Even when New Zealand were without the ball there was no respite for the Irish as the All Blacks defensive line attacked and forced them into error as they chased the game. It was relentless pressure as New Zealand put in a performance for the ages.
And with Brodie Retallick getting closer to full fitness, Scott Barrett may have solved the No 6 six cover conundrum providing another big frame that will be useful in the weeks ahead, particularly with Matt Todd appearing to be in doubt due to aggravating his shoulder injury.
* Eddie: ABs ‘greatest team’
* English talk up semifinal chances
* Injured Todd out of semifinal
* Barrett: We had to lift standards
* ABs warned about Tuilagi threat
* Spark sends All Blacks home
* All Blacks haka ‘silly’, say critics
* Barrett played well for grandad
* Emotional Cheika’s live ‘f-bomb’
* Can ABs stop ‘runaway rhino’?
* RWC results and pool standings
Power Rankings: Jackson Thomas and Duncan Johnstone from Stuff Sport discuss the Rugby World Cup semifinals.
All the talk is that New Zealand are on a higher plane. We will learn more this week. England will test us where Ireland did not.
Despite making 181 tackles to 78 from Australia, England pr
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